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Mercedes-Benz and BMW have both announced that they will not be attending CES in Las Vegas next week.

The German giants both cited the effects of the pandemic and the spread of the new omicron variant as the reason behind their decision to cancel.

“As the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees and guests are our highest priority. In view of the current situation in connection with the COVID-19 virus, we’ve therefore decided to cancel Mercedes-Benz AG’s participation in CES 2022, after intensive consultations,” a spokesperson for the carmaker shared via email on Dec. 29.

“Due to the large group of participants and the different country-specific regulations, a solid, safe and harmless planning for all participants is unfortunately not be feasible in the current situation. We deeply regret this decision but consider it necessary.”

Mercedes had been expected to reveal the Vision EQXX concept with a claimed 1,000-km range in Nevada this year but now an online-only event looks likely.

BMW, meanwhile, had this to say:

“For many years, the BMW Group has been presenting innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Due to the pandemic situation, the BMW Group will move all planned media activities at CES to a fully digital program livestreamed from Germany.”

The news of these two companies changing their minds on exhibiting will be a huge blow for the event organisers. While some companies, including GM, are still choosing to exhibit in Las Vegas, the number of dropouts has certainly dampened the mood around the conference.

Employees of companies still choosing to exhibit in Las Vegas must be wondering whether, with the likes of BMW and Mercedes dropping out, their bosses value their health. Citing safety concerns will also be concerning for the CES organisers, who will need to demonstrate that they can hold the event without inadvertently creating a super-spreader event.

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